i proved that sods law exists tonight. i have spent all day sitting on my bed trying to be bothered to go to the shop and leave the house. since about 8 o’clock this morning i have been thinking about it. eventually it started getting dark and i thought right, if you don’t leave now they will close, and then you won’t have any reason at all to go out, and that will make it all worse. i even put on makeup, because the water was cold so i couldn’t shower, so felt i’d make up for it with mascara.
news quiz podcast, warm evening, out of the house. the day was looking up then BAM right in front of me, the man i went on a date with. the man whose house i went to and whose wine i drank until half two in the morning (despite even at the time thinking, he could be a murderer, definitely could be a killer of women), the man who wasn’t quite as hot or as funny as i thought he was going to be, but who asked to kiss me (yeah, yeah that was a bit weird, but endearing? no, ok, just plain weird, but at the time, after some wine…still no? ok.) but who i did indeed kiss because he was after all quite sweet and indeed attractive, and also potentially quite well heeled (he paid for a drink, I KNOW, i was staggered) and the man who after that evening never contacted me again. the man who i wasn’t that interested in, but who had the sheer audacity to not be completely infatuated with me. there he was. i did a small smile ‘hi’ keep walking embarrassed thing. that’s normal right? acknowledge each other, but don’t break your step.
then he kind of waved at me and turned around to indicate we should indeed converse.
i pulled out my headphones quizzically.
at this point i did something i have realised i do a lot. due to the unbeLIEVABLE awkwardness and sudden excruciating pause, i shyly looked at the floor, saw his feet and just said what i saw. this has happened a surprising number of times, if you meet me and i look awkward and suddenly for no reason comment on your shoes, ignore it. please please just ignore it and say some less awkward social nicety chit chat shit instead. just talk. about the weather, whatever, just don’t let me tell you what shoes you’re wearing. because i will.
me: flip flops.
him: …yeah…i was just going to the shop. didn’t expect to see anyone.
this was said with feeling, as if? as if i had 12 hours to walk to the shop, and i pick that fucking minute! whaaaatttttt??????? there is a god, and he is very, very bored. and / or hates me.
him: where are you going?
a reasonable question, here i could have said just about anything. drinks with a friend (popular, it is after all 8.15 on a friday night) on a DATE (fuck you buddy, in your flip flops, i might be (won’t be) getting laid tonight and YOU are wearing FLIP FLOPS to the corner shop.) i could have even just claimed i was going to the cool wine shop on church street where hipsters fill up their own bottles for a fiver looking all nonchalant (i would hang out there more but i expect they’re all the hot beardy hipster types with babes and impossibly beautiful skinny wives with yet more babies in the most expensive pushchairs you’ve ever seen, how, HOW do they have the money? i don’t UNDERSTAND!?!) even the gym, even the gym makes it seem like you are a focused, active, toned person whilst also suggesting a provocative sweaty sexy montage.
no, no, i couldn’t think of a lie, in that second nothing seemed logical except the truth. a friday night at 8.15, a single girl, living in london, the world at her feet.
him: ……well…….have a nice evening……
yeah. yeah i showed that twat.
1.”fat people farting”
synopsis: a panel of celebrities discuss footage of obese people passing wind. points obtained by guessing the contents of each contestants diet, with a quick fire round of ‘name that tune’. viewers at home can play along with the retro inclusion of a scratch and sniff card – a true blast from the past. proposed host: Les of ex-corrie fame.
2. “supermodels reading proust”
synopsis: watch their beautiful little faces veer between confusion, bewilderment and crushing incomprehension in this 18 hour first episode. next week: page 2.
spin-off series: “proust impersonators borrow small sums of money” (possibly from aforementioned models. a bit like secret millionaire, but different.)
3. “hospital patients very slowly getting better”
synopsis: aired continuously over 6 months.
highlights: ward sister margaret jones loses her favourite pen for half an hour. then finds it where she left it. in-patient janet wilson catches a bit of a cold while recovering from a knee operation – dr hatton comments “she is likely to stop sneezing within 2 to 3 days. 5 max. that’s the best we can hope for at this stage”. tune in to find out how janet copes when her nose gets a bit dry from cheap 2 ply tissues.
spin-offs: “springtime with prostates and small warts” & “saline drips of yesteryear”
presented by anthea turner.
4. “children crying inconclusively”
5. “MPs with STDs”
wasps: whiney, erratic bastards.
so yeah, you know there’s that guy who did that blog about all the awesome little events which make each and every day of his life AWESOME and became well famous an’ that? well i’m going to start writing about all the petty, insignificant and infuriating events which are precipitating the erosion of my teeth as a result of furious gnashing.
yes, i am aware that this has probably definitely already been thought of, but i like to think they would lack my unique flair and world view (ha ha).
1. while we’re on the subject, pretty much anyone who uses the word awesome. unless you are literally slack jawed with amazement, agape, without words to express the magnitude of wonder which you are, or have recently experienced, it’s probably just ‘good’. next time, think about just saying ‘that was good’ or, if you feel very strongly, ‘that was very good’.
2. overweight men who stand too close to you at a pedestrian crossing, and, even though they have just watched you press the button once like a normal person, continue to attack it furiously with their middle digit for the full forty seconds it takes for the green man to appear, their paunch sporadically nudging your elbow as they wank out their furious morse code. clearly they believe there’s a sentient being living in an underground cell changing lights according to need; “ohh-hoo, look at this margaret, there’s 472 people waiting to cross the road on clapton high street, quick, we must change the lights for them IMMEDIATELY god KNOWS what chaos will ensue if we hesitate a moment longer!!!”
you make me shudder with disgust.
mirror face is really quite a special phenomenon. mine mostly involves the eye area. i think i have a complex about my eyelids, so i rectify these problematic folds of skin, which do such a good, but i think quite unnecessarily and over-compensatory job of keeping sand and small insects out of the precious peepers, by hoiking my eyebrows skyward, with a look of amused surprise (slight softening of mouth) and a hint of knowing irony thrown in around the corners. i probably suck my ‘touch of the hamster about them’ cheeks in a little too, for good cheekbone measure. this is the only real-time image of myself i can ever remember seeing. however much i try and catch myself out….turn head slowly to look at mirror annnnnnnddd….DAMN. eyebrows up before you know it. it’s very difficult to try and sneak up on your own face. i have tried pulling normal face in the mirror, but i think i over-exaggerated the eyebrows and ended up looking really very moody, with a locked shut jaw and a bit of a squint in my right eye (is that always there? does everyone else see a lop-sided squinty face but never told me? good god, it’s like i’ve had a stroke, that can’t be right…no…no now you’re just pretending to have a lopsided face in a mirror…that’s grotesque, if the wind changes you’re in trouble.) i think normal face might go more along the lines of pissed off and incredulous rather than amused ironic flirtyness. which probably sounds about right, come to think of it…
of course, the first, last, and only rule of mirror face is never to let any other human being see it. this is somewhat ironic, as in your head this is what you hope against hope the world will see; you at your most attractive, appealing and in my case, a little sardonic (i didn’t say it was an all-encompassing face, strange i should home in on this characteristic, i know). however, should a friend catch your quick flirtation with yourself in a shop widow, hysteria will ensues. trust me. at the very very least a mocking sideways glance is coming your way. it’s a crying shame, but it’s the truth. you look nothing like that.
which leads to my point (get to the point, child). of all the faces we pull, work face, family face, i-fancy-you face, stranger face, which one, if any, is true? and how many versions of yourself are out there roaming around in other people’s heads completely beyond your control?
let’s say you meet someone once, and make a hilarious pun and then never ever see them again. in their head, should they randomly remember you, you’re that really funny person they met once. which is just smashing. but funny stranger face is by no means consistent. if it was, it would probably turn rapidly into perpetually-pun-generating-i-don’t-want-to-be-her-friend-anymore face.
let’s just imagine for a second that you’re having an off-day. say you accidentally put on a top with an awkwardly placed toothpaste stain which you’ve only just noticed at 3pm in the afternoon, and your fringe is doing this really weird thing where it’s kind of sticking up, for no reason, and you’re phone battery ran out so you can’t listen to any music and that’s just about the most annoying thing that could happen today, so you are, simply put, huff-full, and acutely aware of your inadequacies as a normal human being for these short hours. and you bump into a friend of a friend at a bus stop, where you have been waiting for some time. so to fill the gap, you mumble something incoherent about the music situation, and maybe mention the fringe as their eyes wonder to the devious piece of hair, while simultaneously you try to subtly hide the toothpaste stain and calamity upon calamity in the 20 seconds they spoke to you, you come across as an awkward mess of a person. and they walk away, confused, no doubt. and there it is, it’s out there. however great you are at being normal you in public tomorrow is now completely irrelevant. your doppelganger is out. released from its grubby mumbly cage. and it is not a pretty sight.
well yes, i am clearly overly preoccupied with what people think of me, but come now, who hasn’t walked away from a situation and thought: ‘what on earth was that? what was i doing back there?’
i met a gent recently who i found, perhaps still find, utterly unfathomable. why was this a problem? well. which face should be used with the unfathomable? work face is clearly too formal, and yet you don’t want to terrify them with the depths of your madness face, or, god fore fend, and more terrifying still, see where flirt face lands you (nb. usually a whole new world of trouble). sooo you try cool face. sane, but potentially boring. but that doesn’t fit either. because who are you normally? you end up being a parody of you, probably with a hint of the fonz about you as you try to remember what cool people act like, with an awkward hand on hip arrangement and, my favourite trope, you laugh too loudly at their jokes which everybody else around you knows should barely credit an indulgent smirk.
in another recent incarnation of myself, when a person of authority gave me some good news i paused, wondered what to say, and chose to reply with a london-accented ‘shut UP’. yes. like that. like a teenager from eastenders. i forgot myself, my habitual patterns of speech and distinct lack of accent, and borrowed a phrase from the now common lilly allen-esq vernacular and told him to shut up. he told me, somewhat awkwardly, that he was being quite serious. i fell silent, could think of nothing to say and wondered how this conversation might now continue. must i keep up allen face for the duration? in short; what on earth was that?
we are a million faces. and maybe that’s ok. social chameleons. adept at morphing into whichever mould seems socially appropriate (or in the worst cases inappropriate) at any one time, and cherry-picking from the wealth of faces we are inundated with every day.
maybe the conclusion is that mirror face should be let out of its glass cage a little more often. maybe one should forego new friendships and not laugh at the horribly unfunny, but meet it with the confident half ironic smile which has stared back at you for many an hour as you apply eyeliner (how very metrosexual of you, boys). further to this, maybe one should make a special effort to stick more consistently to the accent one was brought up with when expressing surprise. maybe that would be ok too.
that, or tomorrow i go shopping for a new mirror.
so long summer. it’s controversial, but i’m enjoying the rain today. mostly because of the thunder, but especially because i have no intention of going anywhere. so i’m going to pretend it’s a sunday, have a cup of tea, tidy my room and watch some murder she wrote. good gracious jessica, another cousin of yours is having a party, one of the guests has been poisoned and yet you show not a flicker of alarm or surprise? what a pro. my bet is on the man with the eyebrows. that is some suspicious facial hair…
unless, of course, unless it transpires that you, jessica, have actually been funding the publication of your terrible murder mystery stories by mercilessly bumping off every wealthy friend of a friend you just ‘happen’ to meet while, visiting your cousin on their ranch in texas (ye haw), or just ‘happen’ to run in to when buying english muffins for your ‘tea’ from your favourite ‘english’ bakery. mysterious how all them people drop like flies in your company, isn’t it? you and that sheriff are awful close, aintcha miss fletcher? he in on the cut, is he? nice little set up you have here, after all, where is all that money coming from? 30 seconds of typing every week isn’t going to pay for all those road-trips, now is it? we need to get csi hick town special down here sharpish to whip your backwater murderous behinds into the slammer before you can say forensic psychology *cut to jessica and the sheriff in those contamination babygrow suity things looking shaken and confused*. it had to end sometime, jess *shakes head*. it had to end sometime.
…second thoughts, maybe i’ll leave the house. yes. yes, i think that would be wise…